With around 350,000 residents, the population of the city of St. Louis makes up less than 20% of the region's 2.5 million.
President-Elect Obama is making a big move with his plans for national infrastructure improvements, prioritizing roads, bridges, and schools. Over the weekend, he used the expression "use it or lose it" when it comes to taking action on this opportunity. The program is being described as the largest federal infrastructure project since the 1950s.
Meanwhile, work on the new Mississippi River Bridge project is well underway. Greg Horn, project manager for the new bridge, said soil testing under the river has found solid bedrock on which to anchor the new bridge. He's predicting the start of construction in the next 18 months.
So how will the St. Louis region respond to Obama's challenge to invest in new infrastructure? What will be our region's top priorities? With a regional mandate, improvements around the Arch grounds might make the cut. For that to happen, we need a large contingent of non-city residents to support the Arch improvement project.
So, if you're a resident of Illinois, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, or other parts of our region, what you say about efforts to improve the connection between downtown, the riverfront, and the Arch grounds will make a difference. You really carry the most weight. The city needs your support in this endeavor.
The city of St. Louis is made up of 28 aldermanic wards. Meanwhile, regional citizens, residents of what I like to call our "29th Ward", will be key in determining the outcome of this process.